Daily Devotional Week 32 Day 3 OT (chronological) Tuesday (1 Kings 1)

Daily Devotional

Week 32 Day 3

OT (chronological)

Tuesday (1 Kings 1)

Deshi had grown ill with a disease; sensing his weakness during the transfer of power, a nephew of his attempted to rally some disaffected Intown members to make him the next senior pastor.

Deshi had become somewhat more temperamental, due to his illness, and had offended some of those whom he had recently persuaded to cooperate in organizational changes.

One of the elders, and several long-time members and large donors, decided to join the “coup”.

Nabil heard about their plan and recommended that Deshi have some allies, not known as such to the rebels, convince the rebellious members to host a rally for their followers.

While the rally was going on Deshi, Nabil, and the rest of the elders brought his son, Sefu, to a hastily and quietly arranged gathering of the majority of Intown’s members. There they elected and anointed Sefu as their next senior pastor.

Word traveled to the rebellious members and most of the gathering fled. They had stolen some church records and some worship area resources and were frighted they might be arrested.

Sefu sent word that if they returned what had been taken, and either resigned or accepted church discipline, he would not involve law enforcement. They did so.

When have you had to deal carefully with someone in authority because they were temperamental?

Dear Lord, You are sovereign in the affairs of Your people and rebellion always results in harm to the rebellious. May I be careful and prayerful when making decisions so that I do not get out ahead of Your timing and/or apart from Your will. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 32 Day 2 OT (chronological) Monday (Psalms 71, 94)

Daily Devotional

Week 32 Day 2

OT (chronological)

Monday (Psalms 71, 94)

Desi continued to teach the elders, and his eldest son, from the Psalms …

David’s 71st Psalm contained both petition and praise. He again asked the Lord God to rescue him (and not “forget” him in his “old age”) but he also reflected on a lifetime of relationship with the Lord, declared his intention to continue to give praise, and promised to proclaim the glory and justice and mercy of the Lord if he was restored to health and power.

David’s 94th Psalm combined elements of petition, praise, and wisdom. A unique phrase was “The Lord knows that peoples’ thoughts are morally bankrupt. How blessed is the one whom you instruct, O Lord, the one whom you teach from your law,”

David was always an emotional and impatient personality – it showed in his wild swings of mood and his frequently-changing perspective.

Chased from power, then restored, an elderly King David struggled with the role of the evil people who slandered him – God’s anointed – and by extension, God.

Why would David fear for his life if he truly believed he was God’s anointed and the Lord is sovereign?

Is it challenging and/or encouraging to know that the Lord God knows our thoughts, that they are damaged due to our fallen condition, and that He stands ready to “instruct” so that we might get it right?

Is it a great encouragement to know that we are “… under His wings” and that we may “… stand” in times of trouble because He is our strength?

When have you struggled with a challenge and felt impatient for the Lord God to set you free? Did you later, upon reflection, observe that He delayed because He was teaching you?

When have you been in a difficult place, and would not have been able to “… stand” in your own strength, but recalled the words of these Psalms and were therefore able to stand in His strength?

Dear Lord, Your justice is perfectly balanced with Your mercy. May I not be as impatient with You as was David, but learn from the sharing of his many Psalms of anxious petition, and rest assured that nothing can touch me if You choose to protect me. Whatever my circumstances, You will strengthen and teach me – if I choose to be teachable. I will make time to be in Your Word, and I will give You thanks and praise for every time You – the sovereign Lord God of eternity – teach me. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 32 Day 1 OT (chronological) Sunday (Psalms 119:1-88)

Daily Devotional

Week 32 Day 1

OT (chronological)

Sunday (Psalms 119:1-88)

Deshi taught the elders, and his eldest son, from a lengthy Psalm, which was written in an acrostic pattern, each section beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 119 began with wisdom …

“How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord.

How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart,

who, moreover, do no wrong, but follow in his footsteps.

You demand that your precepts be carefully kept.

If only I were predisposed to keep your statutes!”

The apostle Paul would later record a similar regret “I do what I would not … this body of death.”

“Your statutes have been my songs in the house where I live …”

Obedience is a choice and the reinforcement of obedience requires an intentional immersion in the Word.

“I am a friend to all your loyal followers, and to those who keep your precepts.”

Felicity to faithful fellow Believers is very important, as Deshi learned the hard way.

“I know, Lord, that your regulations are just.”

Discipline is chastisement which purpose is to mature, therefore it is an act of love from our perfect Father in Heaven.

“I desperately long for your deliverance. I find hope in your word.”

We may petition the Lord for rescue and find encouragement in His word.

“The arrogant dig pits to trap me, which violates your law.”

We may find wisdom’s perspective when difficulties come.

“All your commands are reliable … They have almost destroyed me here on the earth, but I do not reject your precepts.”

It is reasonable to find strength in hope based on an eternal perspective.

Dear Lord, No matter my circumstances may I always follow Your precepts rather than allowing the values of the fallen-world to displace Your perfect values. Today I will confess and repent of my wandering off, seek and accept Your forgiveness, then endeavor to avoid that rebellious conduct (and the thought-life which leads to it). Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 7 OT (chronological) Saturday (1 Chronicles 26 – 29, Psalms 127, 111 – 118)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 7

OT (chronological)

Saturday (1 Chronicles 26 – 29, Psalms 127, 111 – 118)

David prepares for construction of the Temple. Names Solomon as the next king.

Deshi continued his preparations for the transfer of leadership and upgrades to Intown’s resources.

The elders had recommended Deshi’s oldest son to the congregation as the next senior pastor. Deshi gathered with the elders to anoint and pray for Sefu to be a faithful and wise leader.

Deshi shared with them several of the Psalms he had been studying …

Psalm 127 “If the Lord does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain. If the Lord does not guard a city, then the watchman stands guard in vain.”

Psalm 111 was praise with an interesting teaching method and wisdom – the author listed the characteristics of the Lord God, for which His people were to give Him praise, and then concluded with “To obey the Lord is the fundamental principle for wise living; all who carry out his precepts acquire good moral insight. He will receive praise forever.”

Psalms 112 – 117 continued the praise theme, based upon the characteristics and deeds of the Lord God, begun in Psalm 111.

Psalm 118 also continued the praise theme and added the prophetic phrase “The stone which the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.” which was later applied to Jesus.

David was careful to link God’s blessings to his current state of humble-obedience rather than a false declaration that he had always lived that way before the Lord. The references to Jesus – the Messiah, in the Psalms later became an element of the argument against the religious leaders of the time of Jesus as they should have recognized Him from the prophetic descriptions – in the Psalms and elsewhere in the OT, such as Isaiah.

Dear Lord, You bless the humble and obedient, and you provide all that we need to serve You. May I be attentive to the keeping of my responsibilities in our relationship, my Lord and King. You never change, Your character and characteristics are not subject to the things of Your creation – not the whims of people nor of place or time. May I find confidence in Your unchanging perfection. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 6 OT (chronological) Friday (Psalms 30, 108 – 110, 1 Chronicles 23 – 25, Psalms 131, 138 – 139, 145)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 6

OT (chronological)

Friday (Psalms 30, 108 – 110, 1 Chronicles 23 – 25, Psalms 131, 138 – 139, 145)

Conflicts continue within David’s kingdom. More battles with other nations.

Deshi spent more time in the Psalms as he prepared to pass the leadership of Intown to another.

David’s 30th Psalm was a song of praise to the Lord.

David’s 108th Psalm was a prayer of petition and praise. He praised the Lord God for all that He had done but petitioned Him to return and to lead their armies as they were troubled in battle for His absence.

David’s 109th Psalm was an imprecatory prayer that contained both petition and wisdom. David cited the many evils visited upon him by others, their curses and lies, and their persistent pursuit which had driven him to hunger and isolation. He pleaded with the Lord to visit their curses back on them and to rescue and restore him. Wisdom came in the form of the contrast between the actions of man and those of the Lord God “They curse, but you will bless.”

David’s 110th Psalm was a prophetic prayer for future leaders.

Deshi gathered resources and wrote a long letter which described his failures and successes, in hopes that his successor would learn from them.

Deshi then returned to the Psalms …

Psalm 131 “O Israel, hope in the Lord now and forevermore!”

David’s 138th Psalm began as a praise and concluded with a petition “When I cried out for help, you answered me. You made me bold and energized me … Do not abandon those whom you have made!”

David’s 139th Psalm 139 was wisdom that concluded with a petition “You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives … Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it. Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? … Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb … Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence … Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!”

David’s 145th Psalm was praise “The Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise!” with wisdom “The Lord is near all who cry out to him, all who cry out to him sincerely.”

Dear Lord, Your character is what the Psalmists cited over and over as the point of reference for our hope and for understanding – You never change. Help me to choose to live more-intentionally every day for You. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 5 OT (chronological) Thursday (Psalms 57, 95 , 97 – 99, 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21 – 22)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 5

OT (chronological)

Thursday (Psalms 57, 95, 97 – 99, 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21 – 22)

Conflicts continue within David’s kingdom. More battles with other nations.

Deshi continued to contemplate the Psalms. He also made more poor choices that harmed others.

David’s 57th Psalm was his cry for help, followed by praise for the Lord God; notable phrases included shelter in the Lord (a parallel to his shelter in a cave) and that the Lord might cover the whole earth with His splendor.

The 95th Psalm was a praise-song which contained wisdom “For he is our God; we are the people of his pasture, the sheep he owns.”

The 97th Psalm was a praise-song which contained wisdom “The godly bask in the light; the morally upright experience joy. You godly ones, rejoice in the Lord! Give thanks to his holy name.”

The 98th Psalm was a praise-song “Sing to the Lord a new song!” and contained additional wisdom “His right hand and his mighty arm accomplish deliverance.”

The 99th Psalm was a praise-song which contained wisdom “O Lord our God, you answered them. [Moses and
Aaron ] They found you to be a forgiving God, and one who punished their sinful deeds.”

The Lord was still angry with Intown, and Deshi was still paranoid about his past sins and unknown enemies – the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual unease led him to start a fund-raising campaign that pressured members too hard with guilt-provoking sermons and direct mail to their homes. His actions resulted in some giving more, some giving less, and some leaving Intown entirely.

Deshi also picked a fight, verbally, with a zoning officer about an addition to the church – which eventually resulted in an inspection – which triggered citations for violations costing the church $70,000.

Dear Lord, You know our hearts and You do not tolerate sin gladly. May I be careful in leadership; as a husband, father, teacher, coach, counselor, and even as a peer – to not allow my sin to cause trouble for others. Please reveal any place in my life where imaginary fears are causing me to make poor choices – or to fail to rest in You. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 4 OT (chronological) Wednesday (2 Samuel 19 – 21, Psalms 5, 38, 41 – 42, 2 Samuel 22 – 23)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 4

OT (chronological)

Wednesday (2 Samuel 19 – 21, Psalms 5, 38, 41 – 42, 2 Samuel 22 – 23)

Conflicts continue within David’s kingdom. More battles with other nations.

The former street person whom Deshi had helped in the past, then turned on him during the troubles, had lost his job when he lost his Internet access through the church – and Deshi very upset.

One of the elders confronted Deshi for expressing more sorrow about him than all of those who had stood by Deshi – and the integrity of Intown – despite themselves being attacked. Deshi heeded their wise counsel and began actively thanking his supporters.

Deshi reached out to some of the rebellious groups at Intown, inviting them to share their grievances, and seeking a path forward – in unity.

One group held-out, keeping things stirred-up, and it was led by a troubled but charismatic woman. One member of the group contacted Deshi indirectly and explained that most wanted to resolve the conflict. Deshi’s associate told him that if they parted company with her, Intown would disfellowship her, and then they could join the unity effort. They did so.

Deshi had aged a lot over the time of troubles and was persuaded to make plans to step aside soon for a new pastor. He returned to contemplation of the Psalms …

David’s 5th Psalm was a cry to the Lord and a testimony of God’s faithfulness to those who obey.

David’s 38th Psalm was a cry for God’s rescue in which he sounded a lot like Job – complaining that he had become repulsive even to his friends.

David’s 41st Psalm began with a wisdom verse about God’s healing, protection, and provision for the one who cares for the poor. He pleaded for rescue from all who had turned against him. It concluded with a statement of assurance because, despite his sin, he had remained steadfastly loyal to the Lord.

David’s 42nd Psalm was David’s cry to the Lord – recalling his memories of intimacy with God and of great public celebrations of the Lord (such as dancing as they brought the ark of God into the city). He pleaded again for rescue as he confidently looked forward to singing His praises.

Dear Lord, You have brought good from what the enemy has used to bring evil, but sin always has negative consequences. May I be careful that I not presume that carelessness on my part, though forgiven and redeemed by You, will have no bad consequences for me and for others. May I deal gently with someone who stands in opposition to me because God may intend that person to become an ally in the His service. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 3 OT (chronological) Tuesday (2 Samuel 16 – 18, Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61 – 62, 64, 143 – 144)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 3

OT (chronological)

Tuesday (2 Samuel 16 – 18, Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61 – 62, 64, 143 – 144)

David’s poor choices result in more troubles and David struggles with priorities …

Deshi, overwhelmed by the conflict, and fearful that his adultery and set-up of the maintenance man might come out, fled to the mountains – telling people that it was a prayer retreat.

Along the way he continued to post to social media, but those who believed him responsible for all of the troubles – which he clearly was not (he opened the door but others made their own choices to behave badly) – attacked him on social media.

A lawyer friend offered to file charges against his online critics, and to request that their accounts be closed, but Deshi said no.

A former street person whom Deshi had helped in the past joined in the online attacks using a church account – so an ally of Deshi’s blocked his access.

The online attacks continued to mount and Deshi decided to allow his attorney to act, and he was very successful in stopping most of the attacks.

Meanwhile, Deshi pondered David’s Psalms …

David’s 26th Psalm was a plea for protection based on his innocence and his righteous practices.

David’s 40th Psalm began “I relied completely on the Lord …”

David’s 55th Psalm was an ‘imprecatory prayer’ pleading with the Lord to bring harm to his enemies.

David’s 61st Psalm was a request for the Lord God’s protection and a song of praise.

David’s 66nd Psalm was a wisdom-song “He alone is my protector and deliverer. He is my refuge …”, he warned the rich to not become hostage to their wealth and to not abuse of others for profit.

David’s 64th Psalm was a wisdom-song where he declared the consequence for evil was destruction at the hand of the Lord God while the faithful rested in Him.

David’s 143rd Psalm said “Do not sit in judgment on your servant, for no one alive is innocent before you … May I hear about your loyal love in the morning, for I trust in you. Show me the way I should go, because I long for you.”

David’s 144th Psalm was a praise song with a petition “Of what importance is mankind, that you should be concerned about them? People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears … Grab me and rescue me from the power of foreigners, who speak lies, and make false promises … How blessed are the people who experience these things! How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!”

Dear Lord, You have warned us that the heart of humankind is deceitful and selfish, but that imperfect Believers still share in Your blessings and can trust You to care for us. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 2 OT (chronological) Monday (Psalms 86 & 1 22, 2 Samuel 13 – 15, Psalms 3 -4, 12 – 13, 28, 55)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 2

OT (chronological)

Monday (Psalms 86 & 122, 2 Samuel 13 – 15, Psalms 3 -4, 12 – 13, 28, 55)

David’s poor choices have devastating repercussions …

Deshi’s sin opened the gates for the Enemy to wreak havoc at Intown, just as Scott’s prideful sin had done before.

Elders divided among themselves and gathered followers to support their causes against the others, a major split of the church loomed, sister churches did split, church planters were forced to take sides.

Deshi retreated for a while and contemplated again the Psalms …

David’s 86th Psalm was a prayer of petition for rescue.

David’s 122nd Psalm included “For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors I will say, “May there be peace in you!””

David’s 3rd Psalm was his reaction to his son Absolom’s rebellion, he pleaded with the Lord God to rescue him, and declared his confidence that the Lord would do so.

David’s 4th Psalm was a testimony to resting peacefully in dependence on the Lord and included a call to turn away from wrong directed at David or to others.

David’s 12th Psalm reflected his increased sense of isolation as he felt surrounded by the forces of evil and by wicked people; yet David continued to have confidence in the Lord.

David’s 13th Psalm reflected his frustration that the Lord God had not acted according to his schedule and relieved him from his distress; yet David continued to voice his certainty of the God’s imminent rescue.

David’s 28th Psalm was a new cry to the Lord God for rescue; again fearing for his life, and again pleading for intervention for himself and for Israel against those who would harm him and the nation.

David’s 55th Psalm was his lament that one whom he had trusted and in whom he had confided had turned against him, and his cry one of desperation for a quick rescue, yet David remained confident in the Lord God’s deliverance.

Dear Lord, You instruct us to gather in fellowship, because without them we quickly regress to very primitive ways of thinking and acting. Yet unaddressed sin, especially in a leader, can be devastating. When evil goes unaddressed the disease of injustice spreads like cancer, which is why in Your perfect wisdom You established a system of justice. May I pray for our leaders that they might listen to and obey You and enforce the law righteously that justice might insure freedom and peace. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 31 Day 1 OT (chronological) Sunday (2 Samuel 11 – 12, 1 Chronicles 20, Psalms 32, 51)

Daily Devotional

Week 31 Day 1

OT (chronological)

Sunday (2 Samuel 11 – 12, 1 Chronicles 20, Psalms 32, 51)

David makes poor choices …

Intown had planned a huge outreach to an area generally very resistant to evangelical missions – children’s programs, food, concerts, sports, and more were planned, but Deshi stayed behind.

Late one evening Deshi worked alone in his office and didn’t notice everyone had left.

A knock came on his door and it was the wife of one of the maintenance team. She said she was looking for her husband and had forgotten he was away at the outreach event. She asked if she could talk with Deshi. He agreed, despite there being no one else in the building.

She talked about some bad experiences growing up, meeting her husband, problems they had with alcohol and drugs, how they had mostly stopped that, how she was always afraid when he was away overnight, and the recent illnesses and deaths of both of her parents within the last year.

She began to cry and Deshi tried to comfort her. She clung to him and sobbed, then she turned and kissed him and he didn’t resist, and at that very moment her husband walked in. Deshi apologized and asked him to say nothing for a couple of days, promising to confess to the elders. He agreed.

The next day Deshi and the woman conspired to set-up her husband with planted drugs. The parole violation meant he was sent away to a distant prison, but the evil secret would haunt them.

Nabil confronted Deshi, as he sensed something was wrong. They prayed, but the secret stayed.

David’s 32nd Psalm was a wisdom-song in which David used his own refusal to confess his sin, followed by his confession and repentance, as a teachable-moment for others to break free of the trap of prideful isolation from the Lord God.

David’s 51st Psalm was his repentant reaction after the prophet Nathan confronted him in the matter of Bathsheba. His Psalm contained several principles:

We are guilty of sin from birth (inherited sin, due to the Fall of all Creation, from Adam and Eve).

His sin against Bathsheba, Uriah, and Israel was really sin against the Lord God.

External sacrifice is inadequate. (God wants a contrite and repentant heart.)

The Lord cleanses, and then keeps one from future sin – if we let Him.

Dear Lord, How quickly we can go from intimacy with You to rebellion. Our flesh is weak. Our constant awareness of Your presence falters. May I strive to be so constantly-alert to Your presence that the indwelling Holy Spirit is able to get my attention before I allow tests to become temptations which then blossom into overt sin. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 30 Day 7 OT (chronological) Saturday (Psalms 50, 53 , 60, 75, 20, 65 – 67, 69 – 70)

Daily Devotional

Week 30 Day 7

OT (chronological)

Saturday (Psalms 50, 53, 60, 75, 20, 65 – 67, 69 – 70)

Psalms during David’s Reign …

Deshi found more perspective and wisdom in additional Psalms …

David’s 50th Psalm is a wisdom-song warning that when God comes He comes in judgment. A warning to those who claim to speak for God but whose lives are filled with selfish disobedience.

David’s 53rd Psalm was a wisdom-song; he declared that a fool says there is no God and thus sins unrepentantly, that no one does what is right (without God’s help), and that God allows such people to be humbled by others.

David’s 60th Psalm was his cry to the Lord God to assist his armies.

Asaph’s Psalm, numbered seventy-five, was a praise and wisdom-song.

David’s 20th Psalm records his prayer for God to meet needs and answer faithful prayers.

David’s 65th Psalm was a praise-song to the Lord God which emphasized His power.

David’s 66th Psalm was a praise-song which emphasized how God worked in the lives of the people.

David’s 67th Psalm was a praise song to the Lord God which emphasized His relationship with the nations and their obligation to respond rightly.

David’s 69th Psalm was his cry for mercy. He confessed that he had sinned and deserved punishment, and he repented and asked for forgiveness. He worried that his circumstances would discourage the faithful. He asked God to right things so that His name would be glorified.

David’s 70th Psalm was a cry for the Lord God to hurry and rescue him.

David wove the themes of the Lord God’s character and His action throughout his Psalms. The Lord cleanses and then keeps one from future sin – if we let Him. The powerful thread of praise throughout most of David’s Psalms is a model for health and strength in a corrupt and corrupting world. David was always an emotional and impatient personality – and it shows in his wild swings of emotion.

Dear Lord, Throughout all time You are the sovereign One, all-knowing and all-powerful. May I be careful that a pattern of sin in my life not be a testimony to a foolish functional-atheism (toward specific sins). I trust You to cleanse me and then keep me from future sin. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 30 Day 6 OT (chronological) Friday (Psalms 25, 29, 33, 36, 39)

Daily Devotional

Week 30 Day 6

OT (chronological)

Friday (Psalms 25, 29, 33, 36, 39)

Psalms during David’s Reign …

Deshi continued to meditate on the Psalms for comfort, perspective, and wisdom.

David’s 25th Psalm represented a return to his cry for help from his enemies. He continued the theme of constant-faith in the Lord God, added a plea for the Lord to teach Him His ways, and asked that the rebellion and sin of his youth not be held against him. He concluded with a plea for the protection of Israel.

David’s 29th Psalm began with what sounded like an instruction to the angelic beings to acknowledge the Lord but is perhaps best understood as intending to be a statement of fact; that they do acknowledge Him, and that they do so partially in response to what He has done in His Creation.

David’s 33rd Psalm was a song of praise, it recited His sovereign Creation, His sovereign power over all human activity, and His sovereign care for those whose faith is invested in Him.

David’s 36th Psalm was a prophesy of the future of the rebellious man.

David’s 39th Psalm was when David was being disciplined by the Lord God. Interestingly, David described his choice when “… in the presence of evil men” he chose not to respond to them but to instead talk to the Lord.

David’s long-time faith, despite occasional lapses of good judgment in the flesh, prepared him to trust the Lord even in the most difficult of times. Remembering the future of the rebellious man is a powerful way to remind oneself to be certain of right-standing with the Lord God.

Why was it important to David to not only praise the worship of the angelic beings, in the heavenly presence of the Lord God, but to also offer his own reflective praise and worship of the greatness of God?

Dear Lord, You are always there, and our praise of You reminds us of Your perfection and power. I will bring all things – great and small to You to be tested before I decide or speak, and I will resist failing the test – falling into the temptation to respond to evil with evil. May I worship the only One worthy of worship and trust the only One worthy of my faith. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 30 Day 5 OT (chronological) Thursday (Psalms 15, 22 – 24, 47, 68, 89, 96, 100 – 101, 105, 132)

Daily Devotional

Week 30 Day 5

OT (chronological)

Thursday (Psalms 15, 22 – 24, 47, 68, 89, 96, 100 – 101, 105, 132)

Psalms during David’s Reign …

Deshi meditated again upon the Psalms for perspective.

David’s 15th Psalm recorded his view of who is permitted into the presence of the Lord.

David’s 22nd Psalm was a cry for the Lord God’s rescue.

David’s 23rd Psalm was a celebration and recitation of the Lord God’s nearness, provision, and protection at all times and in all places for those who belong to Him.

David’s 24th Psalm returned to the theme of praise and worship of the Lord God.

David’s 47th Psalm was a praise song.

David’s 65th Psalm was a praise-song which emphasized His power.

David’s 66th Psalm was a praise-song emphasizing how He worked in the lives of the people.

David’s 67th Psalm was a praise song about the nations obligation to respond rightly.

David’s 68th Psalm was a praise-song to the Lord God which emphasized His provision and protection. It included some notable phrases:

“He is a father to the fatherless and an advocate for widows.”

“The Lord speaks; many, many women spread the good news.”

“… the one who rides through the sky from ancient times!” [A history of miracles for His people.]

“Day after day he carries our burden, the God who delivers us.”

Psalm 89 by the Korahites, began with praise, contained wisdom, then a petition for rescue.

Psalm 96 was a praise-song which contained wisdom.

Psalm 100 was a praise-song with wisdom “For the Lord is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations.”

Psalm 101 was a praise-song with wisdom “I will have nothing to do with a perverse person; I will not permit evil.”

Psalm 105 was for praise-leadership which included wisdom “Seek his presence continually!”

Psalm 132 “Ascend, O Lord, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength! May your priests be clothed with integrity! May your loyal followers shout for joy!”

Lord, You are the Creator-God and yet You care for the least of Your created humankind. May I rest in the joy that I am loved by You. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 30 Day 4 OT (chronological) Wednesday (2 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 19)

Daily Devotional

Week 30 Day 4

OT (chronological)

Wednesday (2 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 19)

David’s Reign – continued …

When Deshi was avoiding Scott he lived for a time with a group working in the inner-city using sports and tutoring as a tool to equip and guide youth away from gangs and toward education and employment.

The woman who had begun and led the organization for decades died and because Deshi was out of town he asked a couple of the Intown elders to attend her funeral in his place.

When they arrived they discovered that a radical-racist group had seized control of the organization. At the reception following the funeral the elders attempted to deliver a cake and some flowers, as well as a letter from Deshi, to the new leader.

The followers of the new leader mocked them, burned the letter, threw the cake at them, and dumped the shredded flowers on top of the cake frosting-covered elders. They left humiliated.

When Deshi heard he demanded an apology but the leaders announced they would, instead, march on Intown on Sunday morning and rally against them. Deshi notified church members, the media, and law enforcement.

On Sunday morning church members showed up in force, surrounding the building layers-deep, singing praise songs and praying.

When the thuggish leaders of the inner-city organization showed up they realized that they were both out-numbered and outmaneuvered but still tried to approach the building. The police stepped in, arrested the leaders and several members – for their assault on the elders – and others for resisting arrest when they refused to leave.

Many were discovered to be on probation or parole, some with outstanding warrants, and the result was the inner-city group returned to the control of well-intentioned volunteers.

When have you, or someone you know, intended to deliver a compliment or a word of encouragement only to have it misinterpreted and confusion or conflict resulted?

Dear Lord, You stand with Your people against enemies but we must never presume that You will overlook our failure to stand righteously before You. Please reveal to me any place where I may be misjudging the intentions of another, or accepting bad counsel. I agree to prayerfully re-evaluate my perspective, confess and repent if I have been hasty and incorrect, request and receive forgiveness (if not from the one offended then from the Lord), and repair my decision-making process. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 30 Day 3 OT (chronological) Tuesday (2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, 2 Samuel 8 – 9, 1 Chronicles 18)

Daily Devotional

Week 30 Day 3

OT (chronological)

Tuesday (2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, 2 Samuel 8 – 9, 1 Chronicles 18)

David’s Reign – continued …

Deshi shared with Intown’s lead elder, Nabil, his concern that there was no center for evangelistic-missions and that he’d like to lead the construction of one.

Nabil’s first reaction was that it sounded like a good idea, but during his evening prayers he felt the Holy Spirit pressing him to discourage the idea.

He shared the message with Deshi – that he should, rather, encourage and facilitate both discipleship and evangelistic-missions and that his son could revisit the idea of a building – if became the pastor.

Deshi was encouraged by the hope that his son could build on his efforts and expand the impact of Intown to encourage and equip discipleship and evangelistic-missions throughout the region.

Deshi was so energized by the vision the Holy Spirit had given to Nabil – he praised the Lord.

With Deshi’s Biblically-faithful preaching, teaching, encouragement, facilitation, and role-modeling Intown was able to help many fellowships to multiply the knowledge and application of God’s Word and the working-out of the vision of Jesus for Believers to “love one another” and to “go forth”.

God’s blessings were always conditioned on obedience, no less so for David and Solomon. For the moment David’s eyes and heart were on Him and so the pathway of blessing through David to the kingdom was clear.

Dear Lord, None may stand before Your power, and all must eventually kneel before You. I will gratefully praise and worship You for all that You have done to fulfill Your promises in my life. I will celebrate Your redemption of something good despite my poor decision(s). I will share that story with a fellow Believer as an encouragement. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 30 Day 1 OT (chronological) Sunday (2 Samuel 5:1-10 , 1 Chronicles 11 – 12, Psalms 133, 106 – 107)

Daily Devotional

Week 30 Day 1

OT (chronological)

Sunday (2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Chronicles 11 – 12, Psalms 133, 106 – 107)

David Is Anointed King Over Israel

Deshi arrived at Intown and, despite some people warning that he’d be rejected, and he was warmly welcomed.

There were some who opposed Deshi, but they remained quiet, and others wondered how things would go for him – but they also remained quiet.

The large donation of a wealthy businessman in the community, whose family had been assisted by Deshi many years prior, made Intown financially stable again – and silenced may of Deshi’s critics.

Many stories were told of the good works of those who accompanied and supported Deshi during the troubled times.

Deshi led Intown in sharing and studying several Psalms of praise:

Psalm 133 “Look! How good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together!”

Psalm 106 was a prayer of praise which contained confession “We have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong, we have done evil.”, petition “Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people!”, and wisdom “The Lord God of Israel deserves praise, in the future and forevermore.”

Psalm 107 was a praise and wisdom Psalm with a stream of petition. The author recounted God’s punishment and rescue of Israel on more than one occasion. “They sat in utter darkness, bound in painful iron chains, because they had rebelled against God’s commands, and rejected the instructions of the sovereign king.” might be taken to refer to a time after the kings or could refer to a difficult time during the ebb and flow of the latter kings. There was an interesting reference to a somewhat parallel story to that of Jesus “He calmed the storm, and the waves grew silent.” The author is not identified in the text.

Choices have consequences. Although the Lord God allowed Saul to serve as king for many years his rebellion eventually destroyed him and his family.

Those around David earned the right to trusted authority and responsibility.

Dear Lord, You have been so very patient and Your mercy overflowing, but there is an end to that. May I not test the limits of Your patience in my life. Today I will celebrate your preparation of me, even as I remember that during the time of testing I was not happy about it, and I will use that experience to encourage myself as current and future testing (trials) prepare me for the future. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 29 Day 7 OT (chronological) Friday (1 Chronicles 3 – 5, Psalms 73, 77 – 78, 1 Chronicles 6, Ps 81, 88, 92 – 93)

Daily Devotional

Week 29 Day 7

OT (chronological)

Friday (1 Chronicles 3 – 5, Psalms 73, 77 – 78, 1 Chronicles 6, Ps 81, 88, 92 – 93)

More Descendants, Saul’s Death, More Psalms

Deshi noted the warning of history to those who would accept leadership and the priority of praise.

1 Chronicles 10 “10:13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and did not obey the Lord’s instructions; he even tried to conjure up underworld spirits. 10:14 He did not seek the Lord’s guidance, so the Lord killed him and transferred the kingdom to David son of Jesse.”

Psalm 102 is a prayer of petition which includes wisdom “You endure through all generations. In earlier times you established the earth; the skies are your handiwork. They will perish, but you will endure. They will wear out like a garment; like clothes you will remove them and they will disappear. But you remain; your years do not come to an end.”

Psalm 103 is a praise-song of David which includes a great deal of wisdom: “Praise the Lord, O my soul! Do not forget all his kind deeds! He is the one who forgives all your sins, who heals all your diseases, who delivers your life from the Pit, who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,” and “He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers. As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.” and “ For he knows what we are made of; he realizes we are made of clay.”

Psalm 104 is praise with wisdom “All of your creatures … When you take away their life’s breath, they die and return to dust. When you send your life-giving breath, they are created …” The identity of the author was not included in the text.

Choices have consequences. Although the Lord God allowed Saul to serve as king for many years his rebellion eventually destroyed him and his family.

The Psalmists agree that the Lord God is eternal and that His creation is temporary.

Dear Lord, Your power and creativity, mercy and provision are manifest in Your Creation – even after the Fall. May I pause frequently to marvel at what You created and give praise and thanks. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 29 Day 5 OT (chronological) Friday (1 Chronicles 3 – 5, Psalms 73, 77 – 78, 1 Chronicles 6, Ps 81, 88, 92 – 93)

Daily Devotional

Week 29 Day 5

OT (chronological)

Friday (1 Chronicles 3 – 5, Psalms 73, 77 – 78, 1 Chronicles 6, Ps 81, 88, 92 – 93)

David’s Descendants, Several Psalms

Deshi continued to reflect upon his circumstances in the context of David’s and others.

Asaph’s Psalm, numbered seventy-three in the sequence, was his lament that he had allowed jealousy of the wealthy to cloud his perception of the Lord God and of his own life.

Asaph’s Psalm, numbered seventy-eight, was a wisdom-song in which he reviewed the long history of the Lord God’s protection and provision of His people, concluding with the reign of king David.

Asaph’s Psalm, numbered eighty-one, described the obligation of Israel to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) – per the NET translator’s notes – and linked that act of obedience to the Lord God’s intervention and rescue.

A Psalm by the Korahites, specifically Heman the Ezrachite, numbered eighty-eight was a petition for rescue.

Psalm Ninety-Two is not labeled as to the author, it has been speculated that it was of David, Moses, or one of the Kohalites, or a high priest. It was a prayer of praise which emphasized the protective care of the Lord God in times of trouble. It contained this wisdom-text “How great are your works, O Lord! Your plans are very intricate! The spiritually insensitive do not recognize this; the fool does not understand this.”

Psalm Ninety-Three was unlabeled but likely from a High Priest or one of the Kohalites. It was a praise-prayer which celebrated the Lord God’s hand of power over the forces of the earth.

When have you had troubles and later realized that if you had focused on the cause rather than the symptoms of the trouble you would have found relief sooner?

Dear Lord, You have been faithful to Your covenant, including both the protection and provision for obedience and the negative consequences for disobedience. May I not complain when You chastise me as it is always a perfectly-proportional response to my disobedience. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 29 Day 4 OT (chronological) Thursday (1 Chronicles 1 – 2, Psalms 43 – 45, 49, 84 – 85, 87)

Daily Devotional

Week 29 Day 4

OT (chronological)

Thursday (1 Chronicles 1 – 2, Psalms 43 – 45, 49, 84 – 85, 87)

Adam’s Descendants,

Deshi read 1 Chronicles 1 – 2 where the vital family lines, flowing from the first human, Adam, added documentary archeological substance to the Bible.

David’s forty-third Psalm was David’s self-talk as he questioned-aloud why the Lord God had not yet rescued him – yet he continued to be certain that the rescue would come.

David’s forty-fourth Psalm began with a reference to the Lord God’s protection and provision for ancient Israel, then returned again to an anxious plea for rescue. David complained that the people had not sinned against the Lord God but that He had abandoned them, without cause, to their enemies (This appears to echo the error of Job; presuming to have knowledge, apart from the Lord God, paired with the erroneous thought that one might instruct God in the ways of ‘fairness’.)

David’s forty-fifth Psalm celebrated the marriage of a king to a foreign woman, likely from Tyre, and likely for the purpose of an alliance. The young wife was encouraged not to be homesick as emotional stress might make her less-attractive. The king’s appearance in his battle regalia – the model designed for “State” affairs – was complimented. The faithfulness of the king would bring blessing from the Lord God in battle and all things.

David’s forty-ninth Psalm was a caution to not fear those with money and power over the Lord God, Who would always be victorious.

Asaph’s Psalm, numbered eighty-four, was a praise-song with the following unique phrase “… spending just one day in your temple courts is better than spending a thousand elsewhere.”

Asaph’s Psalm, numbered eighty-five, was a petition which recalled God’s mercy upon Israel despite their past transgressions and asked that He show mercy one more time.

David, more than most of his peers, had enjoyed a life-long intimacy in his relationship with the Lord God – so he struggled greatly during those times when circumstances interfered with that relationship.

From the time God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden He was guiding the paths of his descendants all the way to Jesus and redemption.

Dear Lord, Job and David both foolishly questioned Your awareness and timing, suggesting that You “slumbered” and You abandoned them without cause. May I learn from their example to never doubt You, to be patient – though never as patient as You have been with me – and to emulate Job and David in their overall lives of faithful praise and obedience. Throughout all time You are the sovereign One, all-knowing and all-powerful. May I obey You and praise You so that my life will be in right standing before You and be a useful instrument in Your great plan. Amen. dmc2016

Daily Devotional Week 29 Day 3 OT (chronological) Wednesday (Psalms 6, 8 – 10, 14, 16, 19, 21)

Daily Devotional

Week 29 Day 3

OT (chronological)

Wednesday (Psalms 6, 8 – 10, 14, 16, 19, 21)

David wrestles with his understanding of God’s workings in the world

Deshi continued to meditate on David’s Psalms through the challenges …

David’s sixth Psalm came as David had reached a low point in his struggle against his enemies, he cried out to the Lord God in great angst, and yet still affirmed his certainty that the Lord had heard him and had already set about the destruction of his enemies and his path to restoration.

David’s eighth Psalm was a praise song. He praised the Lord God for Creation, for delegating care of Creation to man, and he observed that all of Creation is designed to give Him praise.

David’s ninth Psalm celebrated the Lord God’s rescue, His love and protection of His people, and His punishment of rebels.

David’s tenth Psalm took a sudden turn as he began to plead for protection and spoke an imprecatory prayer against his enemies, but affirmed that God was faithful and just and would make things right.

David’s fourteenth Psalm recorded David’s return to his reflection upon the wickedness of the rebellious and their intent to victimize the already-oppressed;.

David’s sixteenth Psalm celebrated the Lord’s blessings and the dependence of the righteous upon Him.

David’s nineteenth Psalm was a celebratory testimony to the magnificence of Lord God to be be found in the sun and the moon and the stars. He asked the Lord to not punish him for unintentional sin and to keep him from all sin. He concluded with a plea that his “… words and thoughts be acceptable …” to the Lord, acknowledging Him as “… my sheltering rock and my redeemer.”

David’s twenty-first Psalm was a song of praise and thanks for the Lord God’s provision and protection of him as king.

Why would remembering what God had done in Creation, and since, be important to David as he faced new troubles?

David did not, at this time, drift into Job’s error of doubting the awareness or knowledge of the Lord.

When have you discovered that your times of praise had strengthened your faith to bear-up as trouble times came?

Dear Lord, When we dwell in praise of You our faith grows and deepens, so it is strong – when most needed – during troubled times. May I praise You daily, in prayer and song, in my talk, and in my walk. Amen. dmc2016